Media Separated from Reality at Border

It’s one thing to tell a story that tugs on people’s heartstrings. It’s quite another to manipulate that story to color people’s view. Of course, the liberal media knows a thing or two about twisting the truth to suit their narrative. And, after days of posting gut-wrenching photos of children at the border, the facts are finally catching up with them. Turns out, the faces of the immigration debate aren’t faces from this crisis at all!Time magazine is one of the biggest offenders. Its latest cover, a crying toddler staring up at President Trump, was never separated from her mother at all. In what is turning out to be a major embarrassment for Time and the far-Left, the little girl’s father went to the press to correct the story, insisting that she and her mom were never separated at the border. To its credit, the Washington Post outed the magazine and pointed out that, “The heart-wrenching image, captured by award-winning Getty Images photographer John Moore, was spread across the front pages of international newspapers. It was used to promote a Facebook fundraiser that has collected more than $18 million to help reunite separated families.”

And Time isn’t the only outlet taking liberties with the truth. Other outlets have been forced to apologize on air for using a photo of a caged little boy, after describing him as “ripped from the arms of their mother” by the president’s immigration policy. The propaganda is so out of control that the New York Times took the rare step of shaming the Left in a column, “How Liberals Got Lost on the Story of Missing Children at the Border.” Using a picture of two little boys in a cage as an example, reporter Amanda Taub explains, “This image has been widely shared on social media in recent days, offered as an example of the Trump administration’s cruel policies toward immigrants, but in fact the picture was taken in 2014.”

The real irony is this — no one needs to manipulate the truth to horrify Americans about the situation. There are more than enough nightmarish stories to compel anyone to act — and we should. You’d have to be the Tin Man not to be moved by what’s happening to children before they even get to our borders. People at ground zero, like National Border Patrol Council spokesman Chris Cabrera, have seen enough to keep them awake every night of the week. On CNN, he explained the absolutely devastating impact our lawlessness has had on families.

“I don’t think everybody understands what’s happening down here. You know, a lot of these kids that are coming here, and put through terrible, terrible situations by their parents…When you see a 12-year-old girl with a Plan B pill, or their parents put her on birth control because they know getting violated is part of the journey, that’s just a terrible way to live. When you see a four-year-old girl traveling completely alone with just her parents’ phone number written across her shirt. I mean, come on now… We had a nine-year-old boy last year have heat stroke in front of us and die with no family around…”

Why? Because our refusal to enforce our laws has encouraged parents to gamble with their children’s lives. And despite the media’s anti-Trump drumbeat, the majority of Americans still hold the parents responsible. When families are arrested and separated after attempting to enter the United States illegally, Rasmussen reports, “54 percent of likely U.S. voters say the parents are more to blame for breaking the law… [O]nly 35 percent believe the federal government is more to blame for enforcing the law. Eleven percent are not sure.”

In the wake of President Trump’s executive order, which makes clear that compassion and upholding the law are not incompatible, you would think there would be political goodwill that could be used to address the overarching issue. Not so. Congressional Democrats aren’t interested in a solution. They’re interested in bypassing immigration laws altogether, regardless of the lives it costs and the havoc it wreaks.

But if they think the American people are on board with that approach, they’re mistaken. By a 3-to-1 margin, they reject Obama’s “catch and release” program, which essentially apprehends people at the border and then releases them into the country with a court date that they may or may not ignore. Even Democratic voters don’t agree with the idea, barely giving it 30 percent support.

The compassionate solution is not the status quo. This has, as Donald Trump pointed out, been going on for many decades. “Whether it was President Bush, President Obama, President Clinton — same policies. They can’t get them changed because both sides are always fighting… This is maybe a great chance to have a change.” He’s right — if liberal leaders will set aside their political games long enough to pursue it.


Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


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VIDEO: President Trump Directs Pentagon to Establish ‘Space Force’ as New Military Branch

Trump’s space age versus Obama’s stone age. “My administration is reclaiming America’s heritage as the world’s greatest spacefaring nation,” President Trump said.

Boom.

TRUMP DIRECTS PENTAGON TO ESTABLISH SPACE FORCE AS NEW MILITARY BRANCH

By Jack Heretik, WFB, June 18, 2018:

President Donald Trump announced Monday that he is directing the Department of Defense to create a new “space force” to become the sixth branch of the U.S. military.

“My administration is reclaiming America’s heritage as the world’s greatest spacefaring nation,” Trump said at a meeting of the National Space Council, with Vice President Mike Pence standing by him. “The essence of the American character is to explore new horizons and to tame new frontiers, but our destiny beyond the Earth is not only a matter of national identity but a matter of national security, so important for our military.”

“When it comes to defending America, it is not enough to merely have an American presence in space; we must have American dominance in space, so important,” Trump said. “Very importantly, I am hereby directing the Department of Defense and Pentagon to immediately begin the process necessary to establish a space force as the sixth branch of the Armed Forces.”

Trump said the Air Force and future Space Force would be “separate, but equal.”

Trump ordered Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to begin implementing the directive.

Trump has previously spoken about creating a space force, but this is the first concrete move, at least publicly, in that direction. The Air Force is currently responsible for space warfare, with the Air Force Space Command in charge of operating and protecting military satellites.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is responsible for the country’s civilian space program. Budget cuts in recent have resulted in fewer Americans going into space, leading some observers to call for the U.S. to explore space in a way not done since before the space shuttle came into existence.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Geller Report. Pamela Geller’s shocking new book, “FATWA: HUNTED IN AMERICA” is now available on Amazon. It’s Geller’s tell all, her story – and it’s every story – it’s what happens when you stand for freedom today. Buy it. Now. Here.

Trump: Seven Days in June

From June 8th-14th, we witnessed something special, something that doesn’t occur too often, an American president traveling the globe to bring about peace and prosperity for not only our country but the world as well. This was unlike other presidential trips in that a new type of president was making the rounds, Donald “The Energizer Bunny” Trump, representing a clever negotiator with boundless energy. Not only was he willing to go to bat for the American people, but he also represented the interests of many others around the globe including Europe, Japan, China, even Russia. As if his negotiations didn’t keep him busy enough, he kept us informed by frequently Tweeting his thoughts.

The first stop for Mr. Trump was the G-7 meeting in Canada where the trade imbalance between the United States and other countries took center stage. Here, the president suggested dropping all tariffs completely, something that was spurned by the other G-7 members. In particular, Canadian PM Trudeau showed his true colors by claiming foul by the president after his departure. This proved he is not a legitimate FRIEND of the United States.

Prior American administrations spoiled other countries by allowing tariffs to exist uncontested, thereby causing our massive TRADE DEFICIT. The president made it clear: the party is over. As Mr. Trump said in his closing remarks, “We’re The Piggy Bank That Everybody’s Robbing.” Unless the tariffs disappear altogether, thereby enabling true free trade, the United States will likely invoke their own.

In turn, the Democrats and Main Stream Media (MSM) warned of the dangers of a trade war, giving the impression they are more concerned with the financial well-being of foreign workers as opposed to American.

The next stop was Singapore where the president met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to remove nuclear weapons from the Korean peninsula. Their meeting was brief but resulted in a four-part statement agreeing to establish new relations between the two countries, work towards a lasting peace between north and south, work toward denuclearization of the north, and recover the remains of POW/MIA from the Korean War.

Ever the consummate builder/developer, Mr. Trump produced a special VIDEO showing the benefits of peace to the Korean leader. This video demonstrated the president’s in-depth knowledge of North Korea, as well as his salesmanship.

The President said Kim Jong Un was eager to move forward on this agreement and was already starting the process of destroying his rockets and nuclear build-up. In return, the United States temporarily suspended further military exercises with South Korea. In addition, no new sanctions would be added, but existing sanctions would remain in place until progress is made towards the agreement.

They also discussed human rights violations but didn’t commit to a policy at this time. Instead, they saw this brief meeting as an important first step and further talks would address such concerns. However, the biggest problem, denuclearization, which is of major concern to American safety and security, was addressed.

A lot was accomplished in a brief four hour summit. Yet again, the Democrats and Main Stream Media refused to give their stamp of approval and labeled it a “bust” instead, claiming Kim Jong Un was somehow the real winner at the summit. They conveniently overlooked President Trump’s “Big Stick” approach which brought the Korean Chairman to the table. Teddy Roosevelt, who was the originator of the “Big Stick” approach, would have likely used the same tactic for both Korea and the G-7.

The third newsworthy event was the release of the Inspector General’s REPORT reviewing the actions of the FBI and Department of Justice in advance of the 2016 election. The 568 page report essentially noted ethics violations tarnishing the reputation of the FBI and Department of Justice. To quote from the report:

“Nonetheless, when one senior FBI official, Strzok, who was helping to lead the Russia investigation at the time, conveys in a text message to another senior FBI official, Page, ‘No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it’ in response to her question ‘[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!’, it is not only indicative of a biased state of mind but, even more seriously, implies a willingness to take official action to impact the presidential candidate’s electoral prospects. This is antithetical to the core values of the FBI and the Department of Justice.”

Regarding then-Director James Comey’s role in the 2016 investigation, the report states:

“While we did not find that these decisions were the result of political bias on Comey’s part, we nevertheless concluded that by departing so clearly and dramatically from FBI and Department norms, the decisions negatively impacted the perception of the FBI and the Department as fair administrators of justice.”

The report obviously vindicates President Trump firing Mr. Comey on May 9, 2017, as well as confirming suspicions of improper behavior by FBI investigators. J. Edgar Hoover should be spinning in his grave.

Interestingly, on the day the report was released, the Democrats had a full court press trying to refute it. I personally received press releases from the Left before the report was even publicly released. The television news media poo-poohed the report in an attempt to minimize damage.

Conclusion

As if this week wasn’t difficult enough, Mr. Trump had to bear the weight of Democrats and the Main Stream Media taunting and berating his every move like sore losers. The criticism was so loud, he should receive the Noble Peace Prize simply for fighting them.

The Left has become unglued over the president’s success, causing such people as actor Robert DeNiro to frequently drop the F-bomb on the president at the recent Tony Awards. In reality, celebrities like DeNiro are doing the GOP a favor as their crass language and rude behavior only strengthens the resolve of the Republicans to turn out the vote. It is also a turnoff to independent voters which Democrats desperately need in November.

Remarkably, the Left openly yearns for the economy to crumble and the country to slip into a recession so the President cannot be re-elected in 2020. Whereas the President offers an approach based on capitalism with fewer taxes and smaller government, which has led to our current era of prosperity, the Left offers a socialist agenda with higher taxes and bloated government, an approach which failed under President Obama.

Democrats possess a “glass half empty” mentality as opposed to “half full.” They are genuinely hoping for the economy to fail, for Korean peace talks to fall apart, and the trade talks to crumble. Translation: they want a failed economy, high unemployment, war in Korea, and foreign governments to gouge American taxpayers, for if the president succeeds, they know they will fail in November. They simply have no alternative proposals to offer American voters other than to “Stop Trump.” Instead, they besmirch the president’s character hoping voters will follow suit. The only problem is the voters are not buying into their argument and see the president’s efforts in a positive light. The desperation by the Left as expressed herein means one thing; this is the beginning of the end of the Progressive grip on the Democrats (which I now like to refer to as “The Regressives”).

While prospects for the future dimmed for Democrats this week, Republican candidates supporting Mr. Trump gained traction by winning key primaries on Tuesday, the 12th, including South Carolina, Nevada, and Virginia. So much for the “Never Trumpers.”

Yes, June 8th-14th will likely go down in the history books as a turning point in America; where we moved away from a reactive management style to a proactive one.

As for the president, not bad for a man who just celebrated his 72nd birthday on Thursday. One nice present was given to him by Norway’s governing Progress Party, a nomination for the NOBEL PEACE PRIZE, making him eligible for next year’s award, something the press didn’t want you to know.

As to the upcoming midterm elections, all I can say is, “Game-Set-Match.”

Keep the Faith!

Merkel’s Leadership Threatened by Killings by Immigrants, Wrought by Open Borders

Diana Feldman received an unusual text message from the phone of her 14-year-old daughter, Susanna, late last month.

Written in broken German, the message said she would be back home in a few weeks and that her mother should not try to find her.

Yet the message was not from Susanna. She had already been raped and strangled, and her body was dumped next to some railroad tracks in the city of Wiesbaden in western Germany.

Almost three years earlier, German Chancellor Angela Merkel had faced a crisis. Millions were fleeing the humanitarian catastrophes in Iraq and Syria and heading to Europe, and the enormous flow of people was placing unsustainable pressure on landing ports in Greece and threatening the territorial integrity of the Balkans.

Merkel responded by opening Germany’s borders, subsequently letting in a mix of genuine asylum seekers and economic migrants.

One of the beneficiaries was Susanna Feldman’s killer.

Ali Bashar, a 20-year-old Iraqi Kurd, entered Germany in October 2015 with his parents and was a blight from the beginning. According to the BBC, he was allegedly tied to a robbery, possession of a weapon, and sexual assault on an 11-year-old girl in the refugee shelter where he lived (and where he dealt drugs).

Bashar’s asylum claim was rejected toward the end of 2016, but he was allowed to stay in the country while he appealed the decision.

Over 18 months later, when he killed Susanna, a decision on his appeal still had not been made. Days after his crime, Bashar and seven other members of his family returned to Iraq. However, he was tracked down by Kurdish authorities and extradited to Germany.

Bashar has since admitted to killing Susanna.

It’s clearly a tragic case, but it’s also not an isolated one.

Hussein Khavari arrived in Europe in January 2013. He proceeded to throw a woman over a cliff that summer in Corfu, Greece, and was subsequently imprisoned for 10 years in February 2014 for attempted murder. However, he was released after just 18 months, part of a government amnesty aimed at reducing strain on its overcrowded prisons.

Khavari journeyed on to Germany, where he arrived in November 2015, and claimed asylum the following February. He claimed to be a 17-year-old Afghan upon arrival, saying that his father had been killed fighting the Taliban.

In October 2016, Khavari raped and strangled Maria Ladenburger, a 19-year-old German student, in Freiburg, in southwest Germany. Khavari left his still-breathing victim to drown in a nearby river after his attack. He was sentenced to life in prison.

During his trial, it emerged that rather than being a 17-year-old fatherless Afghan, Khavari was a Iranian. His father was alive and well, living in Iran. Khavari’s asylum claim was also undecided at the time of Ladenburger’s killing.

Another case from southwest Germany, this time in Kandel, saw Mia Valentin, a 15-year-old girl, being stabbed to death by her ex-boyfriend last December. The killer, Abdul D., came to Germany from Afghanistan in April 2016, claiming to be 14 years old. In reality, he is now 20.

Such stories—coming in the wake of the mass sexual assault of more than 1,000 women in Germany on New Year’s Eve of 2015—have a variety of consequences.

One consequence is political. Concern over immigration could lead to the collapse of Merkel’s coalition government. Horst Seehofer, Germany’s interior minister, wants to begin turning away refugees who have passed through another European Union country before getting to Germany. Merkel is refusing, concerned about the effects this would have on forging a coherent EU-wide refugee policy.

The coalition is splintering, and if an agreement cannot be reached, a vote of confidence in Merkel—and new elections—could be imminent.

Another consequence relates to security. One recent study demonstrated that violent crime had increased by more than 10 percent in 2015 and 2016. Ninety percent of that increase was because of violent crimes committed by male refugees.

Similarly, the sharp increase to the Islamist terrorism threat in Germany is not primarily from radicalized Germans, but from recently arrived asylum seekers. While some plots were thwarted, those in WurzburgAnsbachBerlin, and Hamburg were not.

In that environment, many Germans have turned to a radical, outsider party that made a platform out of cracking down on immigration. Alternative for Germany got about 6 million votes (13 percent) in September 2017 and is now the third-biggest party in Germany.

That’s not because Germany has a hitherto concealed population of racists who were unearthed in the election, but because Merkel very clearly made a cataclysmic mistake.

Germany did take in too many people. It did not know who they were then, and so, it has no idea who is living in the country now. It was too trusting in accepting asylum applicants’ backstories—and the German Medical Association is still speaking out against checking claimants’ ages.

Germany is not deporting enough of those who have no right to be in the country, or making decisions on asylum appeals quickly enough.

If this were solely a German problem, then perhaps it would be easier to contain. Yet it also extends to Sweden, which is dealing with a surge in crime in areas with high concentrations of immigrants.

One recent study in Sweden showed that more than 75 percent (at a minimum) of those claiming to be children were actually adults. Austria, Italy, and other countries in Europe face similar challenges.

A responsible approach would be for nations to listen to voters’ concerns and craft policies that address them.

Merkel’s desire for an EU-led solution demonstrates the hopelessness of the current approach. An unresponsiveness to democratic impulses in the EU is a well-established theme.

Meanwhile, the numbers continue to grow. About 10,000 new asylum seekers come to Germany every month. The government hopes they will integrate, but has no real idea how to make that happen, and the crisis rolls on.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Robin Simcox

Robin Simcox is the Margaret Thatcher Fellow at The Heritage Foundation. Twitter: .

RELATED ARTICLE: Trump Is More Right Than Wrong About Migrant Crime in Germany

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With the recent conservative victories related to tax cuts, the Supreme Court, and other major issues, it is easy to become complacent.

However, the liberal Left is not backing down. They are rallying supporters to advance their agenda, moving this nation further from the vision of our founding fathers.

If we are to continue to bring this nation back to our founding principles of limited government and fiscal conservatism, we need to come together as a group of likeminded conservatives.

This is the mission of The Heritage Foundation. We want to continue to develop and present conservative solutions to the nation’s toughest problems. And we cannot do this alone.

We are looking for a select few conservatives to become a Heritage Foundation member. With your membership, you’ll qualify for all associated benefits and you’ll help keep our nation great for future generations.

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Immigrate Expectations

Now that President Trump’s scored big points for his historic meeting with Kim Jong Un, his opponents are desperate to change the subject. Anxious to turn the country’s attention away from the administration’s diplomatic success, they’ve returned to an issue that the Congress has repeatedly failed to resolve — immigration.

Yesterday’s Washington Post got the ball rolling with an inside look at one of the 100 shelters where children, whose parents were arrested for entering America illegally, are housed. The article couldn’t help but tug on heartstrings, since almost 1,500 boys are living in a warehouse-sized summer camp, separated from their parents when they crossed the border illegally. What was once a Walmart super center is now full of classrooms, medical rooms, basketball courts, and even a pool hall. Juan Sanchez, who manages the nonprofit that’s housing the kids, says that the circumstances are difficult, especially for kids struggling to adapt, but promises, “We’re trying to do the best that we can taking care of these children. Our goal ultimately is to reunite kids with their families,” he said. “We’re not a detention center… What we operate are shelters that take care of kids. It’s a big, big difference.”

Obviously, the situation is a tragic one for thousands of children, who are the innocent victims of their moms’ and dads’ decision to break the law. It’s impossible to feel anything but compassion for these kids, who must be dealing with a great deal of pain and confusion. But the origin of that pain and confusion isn’t U.S. law or the Trump administration. That burden lies with their parents who knowingly put them in this position. “If you are smuggling a child,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions has said, “then we will prosecute you and that child will be separated from you as required by law. If you don’t like that, then don’t smuggle children over our border.”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions defended the White House’s position on Wednesday, telling a gathering, “Persons who violate the law of our nation are subject to prosecution. I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order.” Critics quickly attacked the AG’s comments — with particularly harsh criticism from those on the Far Left, many of whom don’t appreciate scriptural references unless it can be twisted to justify their agenda.

Thursday, reporters took out their frustration on Press Secretary Sarah Sanders press conference, asking how the administration could possibly defend a policy that prosecutes adults for crossing the border illegally. Sanders stood her ground. “…[It’s] very biblical to enforce the law. That is actually repeated a number of times throughout the Bible,” she said. “It’s a moral policy to follow and enforce the law.” And, she went on, if you’re looking for someone to blame for this situation, try Democrats. “The separation of illegal families… is the product of the same legal loopholes that Democrats refuse to close, and these laws are the same that have been on the books for over a decade. The president is simply enforcing them.” President Trump echoed that sentiment earlier: I hate the children being taken away. The Democrats have to change their law. That’s their law… That’s the Democrats’ law. We can change it tonight. We can change it right now.”

When all else is equal, of course we want families to stay together. But let’s also remember that this situation isn’t unique to the border. I can tell you from my time in law enforcement: If a parent or parents are arrested here in the states, the children are turned over to Child Protection Services, who holds them until a foster family can be identified. In both circumstances, the children are compassionately cared for — not held in dank rooms behind bars, as some liberals would have you believe. As immigration officials have said, “Our goal is to reunite these children with their families as soon as we can do that.” But if parents aren’t deterred by the consequences of breaking the law, the fault lies solely with them. If these families are looking for a way to stay together, here’s an idea: come to America through the legal immigration process rather than crossing the border illegally.

Let’s also consider the precedent it would create if we didn’t enforce the law. Are liberals suggesting that we shouldn’t incarcerate anyone who has kids? Are children the new get-out-of-jail-free card? As Sessions said, “If you bring a child, it is still an unlawful act. You don’t get immunity if you bring a child with you. We cannot have open borders for adults with children.”

I’m not suggesting that our laws don’t need work — or that this crisis isn’t urgent. They do, and it is. I’ve felt strongly about this issue for years, so much so that I included immigration as a core value in my first bookPersonal Faith, Public Policy. Maybe these new small faces of the immigration crisis will prompt Congress to work across lines and unite in an effort to reform an immigration system that’s dividing families and our country.


Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


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Trump Administration Opens Office to Find Naturalization Fraudsters

On June 11, 2018 the Washington Times published an article, U.S. launching office to identify citizenship cheaters, reporting that the Trump administration is opening an office to identify aliens who defrauded the naturalization process by concealing material facts in filing for U.S. citizenship and seek their denaturalization.

This is an important measure and one that enhances the enforcement of immigration laws from within the interior of the United States that will plug yet another gap in the highly porous immigration system.

This, as you will see, also has serious implication for national security.

However, generally most aliens who commit naturalization fraud also committed fraud in their applications for various immigration benefits that subsequently enabled the to apply for U.S. citizenship.

Because of the huge number of applications for various immigration benefits, more than six million applications for various benefits are processed each year by the beleaguered adjudication officers employed by USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services), many applications are adjudicated without so much as an in-person interview, let alone a field investigation conducted to verify the information contained in the applications.

This creates an invitation for fraud on a massive scale.

The Wasington Times article draws the parallel with this new effort to uncover aliens who lie on application for U.S. citizenship to previous efforts to identify Nazi war criminals who also gamed the naturalization process in order to secure U.S. citizenship to evade prosecution for their heinous crimes against humanity.

Naturalization fraud is of particular concern because U.S. citizenship provide the aliens with the veritable “Keys to the kingdom” as I have described in a series of previous articles and in my testimony before several Congressional hearings.

Here are a few reasons why citizenship is of particular concern and how some of the vulnerabilities must be addressed.

As the Washington Times article noted, aliens who acquire U.S. citizenship may be granted security clearances.  I recently wrote an article about an April 2018 Congressional hearing on how Iranian Sleeper Cells Threaten U.S.

Immigration fraud, including naturalization fraud, enables sleeper agents from foreign countries to embed themselves in the United States in furtherance of their nefarious and often deadly goals.

Additionally, aliens who naturalize may legally change their names.  In such instances, their U.S. passports only reflect their new names.

Criminals and terrorists can thus put themselves into their own “Witness Protection Program” concealing their original identities and gaining entry into countries around the world that might be aware of their original names and would never admit them if they knew who they really were.

However, when such an individual seeks entry with a new name, a name not known to border officials in that country it is likely that he/she will be permitted to enter that country.

The solution to this problem is simple and inexpensive-  have U.S. passports reflect both names.

I raised this issue when I appeared at a Congressional hearing but no action was taken.

This is further exacerbated because many of these naturalized citizens have dual citizenship, they retain the citizenship and passports of their countries of birth.

Dual citizen terrorists and fugitives who defraud the naturalization process can travel easily around the world by using their U.S. passport to travel to an intermediate foreign country, let’s say Germany.  They then conceal their U.S. passport and travel on the passport issued to them by their county of birth to travel to another country, perhaps to engage in terror-related activities. They return to Germany.  In Germany they conceal the passport from their country of birth and return to the United States on their U.S. passport.

A review of entry stamps in their U.S. passport will make it appear that they spent several weeks in Germany when, in reality, Germany was just an intermediate destination on their way to other countries.

Alternating passports covers their tracks the way a smuggler drags branches behind him to cover his tracks in the sand in the desert.

The Trump administration must finally require that the U.S. passports issued to naturalized citizens reflects all names that these individuals have used, to thwart the tactic I have described above.

While it is encouraging that for the first time in decades we have an administration that is determined to not only secure our borders against illegal immigration but restore integrity to the immigration system to protect America and Americans.

The administration would do well to do more than simply attempt to identify aliens who secured U.S. citizenship via fraud.  Denaturalization may be an involved process.  It would be far better to uncover fraud in applications for immigration benefits that precede U.S. citizenship.

In order to qualify for citizenship, an alien must first become a lawful immigrant.  In order to become a lawful immigrant an alien may have been granted political asylum or married a U.S. citizen or lawful immigrant.

Consider this except from the official report, 9/11 and  Terrorist Travel:

Although there is evidence that some land and sea border entries (of terrorists) without inspection occurred, these conspirators mainly subverted the legal entry system by entering at airports.

In doing so, they relied on a wide variety of fraudulent documents, on aliases, and on government corruption. Because terrorist operations were not suicide missions in the early to mid-1990s, once in the United States terrorists and their supporters tried to get legal immigration status that would permit them to remain here, primarily by committing serial, or repeated, immigration fraud, by claiming political asylum, and by marrying Americans. Many of these tactics would remain largely unchanged and undetected throughout the 1990s and up to the 9/11 attack.

Thus, abuse of the immigration system and a lack of interior immigration enforcement were unwittingly working together to support terrorist activity. It would remain largely unknown, since no agency of the United States government analyzed terrorist travel patterns until after 9/11. This lack of attention meant that critical opportunities to disrupt terrorist travel and, therefore, deadly terrorist operations were missed.

My recently published booklet, Immigration Fraud:  Lies That Kill also focused on the threat posed to national security by various forms of immigration fraud, including but not limited to naturalization fraud.

Let’s consider a few specific examples of terror suspects who engaged in immigration fraud.

The infamous Tsarnaev brothers Dzhokhar and his older brother Tamerlan carried out the deadly terror attack at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013.  They and other members of their family were granted political asylum when their authorized temporary period of admission into the United States expired, and they claimed to have “credible fear” that if they were to return to their native Russia, they would face persecution or worse.

Shortly after being granted political asylum in the United States, members of the family voluntarily returned to Russia.  There had been no regime change and therefore, it must logically be presumed that they committed immigration fraud by making a false claim to “credible fear” upon which their application for political asylum rested.

However, no such investigation was launched into this obvious fraud.

Members of the Tsarnaev family were subsequently granted lawful immigrant status making them eligible to apply for United States citizenship.

Tamarlan was killed during the terror attack.  Although he had applied for U.S. citizenship his application was held up when information was provided by the Russian government linking him possibly to Chechen terrorists.

Dzhokhar, however became a naturalized citizen.  He is now on death row awaiting execution.

On January 23, 2018 the Justice Department issued a press releaseOhio Man Sentenced for Providing Material Support to Terrorists, Making False Statements to Authorities.

That “Ohio man” was Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud, a native of Somalia who had become a naturalized U.S. citizen as part of his strategy to facilitate his travel to Syria.

I wrote about this case in two previous articles, A Terrorist and Naturalization Fraud and How DHS Ineptitude Facilitates Terrorist Operations. As I noted in the first of those two commentaries, Mohamud committed fraud when he lied on his application for his U.S. passport by claiming he intended to travel to Greece when, in reality, he traveled to Syria.

Finally, on January 16, 2018 the DOJ and DHS jointly issued a press release, DOJ, DHS Report: Three Out of Four Individuals Convicted of International Terrorism and Terrorism-Related Offenses were Foreign-Born.

That press release noted that:

The report reveals that at least 549 individuals were convicted of international terrorism-related charges in U.S. federal courts between September 11, 2001, and December 31, 2016.  An analysis conducted by DHS determined that approximately 73 percent (402 of these 549 individuals) were foreign-born.  Breaking down the 549 individuals by citizenship status at the time of their respective convictions reveals that:

  • 254 were not U.S. citizens;
  • 148 were foreign-born, naturalized and received U.S. citizenship; and,
  • 147 were U.S. citizens by birth.

According to information available to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), since September 11, 2001, there were approximately 1,716 removals of aliens with national security concerns.

Clearly the Trump administration is on the right path, but more and bigger steps need to follow and follow quickly.

Nothing less than national security is at stake.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in FrontPage Magazine.

Post Singapore, What is Next for Freedom in North Korea?

Yesterday in Singapore the on-again/off-again summit between President Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un made history as President Trump became the first U.S. president to meet with a North Korean leader. The focal point of the carefully planned and choreographed summit was the private meeting between Trump and Kim where the discussion focused on bringing North Korea out of the dark age of a repressive regime pursuing nuclearization into the modern world. While all the details of their discussion have not been disclosed, we do know there is finally a solid verifiable path forward for the United States, North Korea, and the world. An agreement in which North Korea affirmed that it will work toward complete denuclearization, and in exchange the United States committing to helping North Korea prosper and ensuring its security.

While the United States has achieved an important milestone in the pursuit of the denuclearization of North Korea, the details and specifics are yet to come. What are the next steps? What incentives will the U.S. provide? What changes beyond dismantling their nuclear program will Kim have to make? All of those details will most likely be hammered out in subsequent meetings overseen by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. I am confident, based upon my conversation with Vice President Pence yesterday, that the United States will ensure that religious freedom and human rights are substantively integrated into that process.

At the press conference following the summit, President Trump affirmed that he initiated a conversation about these matters with the North Korean leader during their talks: “[W]e did discuss [the issue of human rights] today pretty strongly.” Even though the main purpose of the talks was “denuking,” human rights were discussed “at pretty good length.” On that topic, they will “agree to something,” as it was “one of the primary topics” that “was discussed at length outside of the nuclear situation.” In President Trump’s view, this “has to” change in order to move forward, and he will not remove sanctions “without significant improvement in the human rights situation.”

This is good news, as was the president’s response to an additional question about the fate of Christians in North Korea. “We . . . brought it up very strongly.” This issue “did come up, and things will be happening,” the president continued, recognizing that Franklin Graham has focused on this issue and has “got it very close to his heart.”

Photos and smiles aside, North Korea under Kim is one of, if not the most repressive place on the planet, as our own government has recognized in the State Department’s 2017 Religious Freedom Report. North Korea keeps an iron grip on any worship which could alter the state’s power, promoting in place of religious freedom what is akin to a state religion worshiping the “Great Leader” Kim Il-Sung. The experiences of North Korean Christians are such that when freedom opens the door just a crack, it is violently slammed shut by the government. The research makes clear and the Trump administration understands, that the only path to true cultural, political and economic long-term stability in North Korea is for religious freedom to provide the foundation.

Thankfully, we have already seen the impact that U.S. prioritization of religious freedom can have. After President Trump pointedly raised religious persecution in Nigeria with that country’s president, additional security forces were immediately deployed to vulnerable areas upon his return. While North Korea is different by orders of magnitude, the Trump administration must clearly and directly confront the issue of religious freedom. If religious freedom is not dealt with, North Korea will not be able to economically move into the modern world anyway (something it seems to want to do), and the North Korean people will be deprived rights which derive from their very humanity and creation in the image of God.

What makes this North Korea summit different from others that have failed? As our own General Jerry Boykin shared with me on Washington Watch, the summit approached the matter by allowing negotiations at the top, with the leaders meeting and committing to the end goal of denuclearization, leaving subordinates to work out the details. Usually these meetings develop from the bottom up, as did Secretary of State Kerry’s negotiations over Iran.

This doesn’t mean we should be naive. As the General (who with decades of traveling the world in defense of U.S. interests, is no stranger to the skepticism one may develop about world affairs) recognizes, “[w]e need to let Kim know that we consider his nuclear program an existential threat to the United States and are willing to use all available means to oppose it.” At the same time, the implicit threat in this message constitutes the very pressure which will get Kim to the negotiating table and cause him to think twice before walking away from working with the United States.

President Trump deserves a great deal of credit for the way he has handled this summit. What many haven’t seen is the private diplomacy between the United States and China leading up to the summit, which ultimately resulted in China supporting the general concept of North Korean denuclearization. Moreover, in no small way, the president’s recent withdrawal from the Iran deal played a part in moving the ball forward with North Korea. With that one act of U.S. withdrawal, Kim at once knew two things: he would not get a weak deal with the United States, and the United States would not accept another nuclear-armed state—whether Iran or North Korea—that threatens us or our allies.

Yesterday’s summit was a milestone, but the journey is far from over. Please continue to pray for a peaceful resolution to North Korea’s nuclear build up and for the persecuted that remain behind the walls of North Korea that freedom would soon come to them.


Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


RELATED ARTICLES: 

Falling down To Build up A Nation

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Trump Says He Will ‘Absolutely’ Invite Kim Jong Un to the White House

Suspending Military Exercises in South Korea Carries Risks

Islamic Republic of Iran admits to facilitating 9/11 attack

You can read the details of how Iran helped facilitate the 9/11 attacks in my new book, The History of Jihad From Muhammad to ISIS (preorder here). The funny thing is that as I was adding that section to the book, I was thinking to myself, “Here is the part that will make some readers dismiss the book as containing some crazy conspiracy theory.” My publicist Mohammad-Javad Larijani, however, has now helpfully taken care of that problem.

“Iran Admits To Facilitating 9/11 Terror Attacks,” by Adam Kredo, Washington Free Beacon, June 8, 2018:

Iranian officials, in a first, have admitted to facilitating the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the U.S. by secretly aiding the free travel of al Qaeda operatives who eventually went on to fly commercial airliners into the Twin Towers in New York City, according to new remarks from a senior Iranian official.

Mohammad-Javad Larijani, an international affairs assistant in the Iran’s judiciary, disclosed in Farsi-language remarks broadcast on Iran’s state-controlled television that Iranian intelligence officials secretly helped provide the al Qaeda attackers with passage and gave them refuge in the Islamic Republic, according to an English translation published by Al Arabiya.

“Our government agreed not to stamp the passports of some of them because they were on transit flights for two hours, and they were resuming their flights without having their passports stamped. However their movements were under the complete supervision of the Iranian intelligence,” Larijani was quoted as saying.

The remarks represent the first time senior Iranian officials have publicly admitted to aiding al Qaeda and playing a direct role in facilitating the 9/11 attacks.

The U.S. government has long accused Iran of playing a role in the attacks and even fined the Islamic Republic billions as a result. The U.S. 9/11 Commission assembled to investigate the attacks concluded that Iran played a role in facilitating the al Qaeda terrorists.

Larijani admitted that Iranian officials did not stamp the passports of the al Qaeda militants in order to obfuscate their movements and prevent detection by foreign governments. Al Qaeda operative also were given safe refuge in Iran….

RELATED ARTICLE: Facebook on the hunt to remove nationalist Burmese patriot monks from their platform

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on Jihad Watch.

Trump excluded Muslim Brotherhood-linked groups from Iftar at White House

In Jihad Watch’s coverage of Donald Trump’s welcoming Muslims to the White House for a Ramadan Iftar dinner, Robert Spencer indicated that Trump’s statement about Ramadan’s message of “timeless message of peace, clarity [sic], and love” was a “dispiriting reiteration of the fantasies that prevailed in Washington during the three administrations (at least) that preceded his.”

It is also interesting that Trump excluded Muslim Brotherhood-linked groups from his Iftar:

Among the excluded political groups were the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) and the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). Also excluded were the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA).

CAIR, ISNA and ICNA, as well as other mainstream Muslim groups, are all linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. That they were not invited to the White House is a significant statement.

The exclusion is a sharp change from former President Barack Obama, who put the Brotherhood-linked groups front-and-center in his Iftar dinners and his Middle East strategy.

The Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliates are enemies to America, enemies to democracy, and to the West. The next step for the Trump administration and other Western democracies would be to declare the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization, given its established mandate….

that Islam should be “given hegemony over all matters of life.” Toward that end, the Brotherhood seeks to establish an Islamic caliphate, or kingdom — first spanning all of the present-day Muslim world, and eventually the entire globe. The organization further aspires to dismantle all non-Islamic governments wherever they currently exist, and to make Islamic Law (Shari’a) the sole basis of jurisprudence everywhere on earth. This purpose is encapsulated in the Brotherhood’s militant credo: “God is our objective, the Koran is our Constitution, the Prophet is our leader, struggle [jihad] is our way, and death for the sake of God is the highest of our aspirations.”

“Trump Excludes Brotherhood-Tied Groups from Iftar Dinner”, by Neil Munro, Breitbart, July 7, 2018:

President Donald Trump excluded a variety of domestic Islamic groups linked to the Muslim Brotherhood from his first White House annual Islamic ‘Iftar’ dinner.

The exclusion is a sharp change from former President Barack Obama, who put the Brotherhood-linked groups front-and-center in his Iftar dinners and his Middle East strategy. His regional strategy crashed once the Brotherhood groups in Egypt, Syria, Libya, Tunisia, and other countries were unable to restrain their Islamic radicalism during the so-called “Arab Spring.”

Reports show that most of the invitees at the dinner were the ambassadors of Islamic countries, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Morocco. The dinner marks the end of the Islamic Ramadan season of fasting.

Among the excluded political groups were the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) and the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). Also excluded were the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), which cater to Muslim immigrants from Arab countries and from the Indian sub-continent.

CAIR has been declared a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates and was named by federal prosecutors as an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas-funding operation. MPAC was “established in 1988 by followers of the Muslim Brotherhood and admirers of Hezbollah… [and] is yet another Islamist wolf in the ‘social justice’ clothing of the hard Left,” said Andrew McCarthy, a prosecutor who convicted several Muslims for the New York jihad attacks.

Exclusion is a financial hit for various groups, some of which rely on domestic — or even foreign — donors who support them because of the groups’ claimed ability to advance Islamic goals in U.S. politics.

The exclusion also shows that the White House rejects the groups’ unproven claim to be legitimate and popular political representatives of Muslims in America. Polls show these groups have little sway among the Muslims who live in America. Also, Muslims in America are already represented in Washington by their local congressional representatives…..

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in Jihad Watch.

WATCH Israel i24 TV, Spin Room Panel: Pamela Geller destroys antisemitic leftist Jew

Earlier today, I debated Yariv Oppenheimer  — Former Director, Peace Now; an anti-Jew left-wing Jew, Akiva Eldar — Political Analyst, Senior Columnist Al Monitor and Haaretz (notoriously anti-Israel); and Daniel Seaman — Former Director of Israeli Government Press Office, today he is the chief editor of Mida English Online Magazine.

We fight it out on the issues — Gaza border, Netanyahu’s diplomatic visit to Europe meeting Merkel, Macron and Teresa trying to get to agreements with them about Iran deal, Trump-Kim summit, and the antisemitic Argentina football team cancellation of a match here in Jerusalem after Palestinians and left organizations pressured them to cancel.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The Geller Report. Pamela Geller’s shocking new book, “FATWA: HUNTED IN AMERICA” is now available on Amazon. It’s Geller’s tell all, her story – and it’s every story – it’s what happens when you stand for freedom today. Buy it. Now. Here.

How Chief of ICE Responds to Jerry Brown and Andrew Cuomo on Illegal Immigrants

The Trump administration has tripled enforcement against employers that hire illegal immigrants, an offense that could involve an array of crimes, the nation’s top immigration official says.

“Simple math, more officers in the county jail equals less officers in the community,” @ICEgov Director Thomas Homan says.

“We’ve increased worksite enforcement by over 300 percent. We’re going to continue doing that,” Thomas Homan, who is retiring as chief of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said Tuesday at the National Press Club in Washington.

“We’re not only going to continue conducting criminal investigations of employers where we have evidence of criminal behavior. We’re doing the audits and we are arresting illegal employees,” Homan said.

Homan, acting director of ICE because he has not been confirmed by the Senate, is set to retire later this month.

As yet, the Trump administration hasn’t chosen a successor, he said at the event sponsored by the Center for Immigration Studies, a pro-enforcement think tank in Washington.

Homan spoke in a question-and-answer format with Jessica Vaughan, the organization’s director of policy studies.

“It’s not just employing an illegal alien. There is tax fraud going on. Employers aren’t paying their taxes,” Homan said, adding:

Homan addressed a wide range of topics

In April, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, sent a “cease and desist” letter to ICE, asking Homan’s agency to “direct your agents operating in New York to follow the clear constitutional requirements attendant to searches and arrests.”

“If you fail to do so,” Cuomo wrote, “I will explore and pursue all available legal recourse, taking any such action that is necessary to protect the rights and safety of all New Yorkers.”

Homan responded that he is a native New Yorker and isn’t intimidated by Cuomo.

“Last year, we arrested nearly 5,000 criminal aliens off the streets of New York,” Homan said. “Rather than a cease and desist letter, a letter of thank you would be appreciated.”

The Justice Department has sued California over a sanctuary state policy that prohibits local law enforcement from assisting federal immigration officials, even by holding illegal immigrants who already are detained in county jails.

Homan responded to criticism from California Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, that officials at ICE and other federal agencies aren’t telling the truth. Homan said California law enforcement authorities oppose Senate Bill 54, the sanctuary state law.

“The California [State] Sheriffs’ Association, the governor’s own sheriffs, agree with us that SB54 prevents communications with ICE,” Homan said, “and dangerous criminals like gang members, those that assault police officers, they’re being released from jails all across California.”

If local law enforcement cooperates, he said, then ICE agents won’t need to look for criminal immigrants in the community.

“When one [ICE] officer can sit in a county jail and process 10 illegal aliens in a shift, [and] now you release those 10 aliens to the street, I’ve got to send a whole team out to try and locate one,” Homan said, adding:

Simple math: More officers in the county jail equals less officers in the community. That’s just operational reality. … Don’t tell me to prioritize criminals, but you can’t come to my county jail. It doesn’t make sense.

The ICE chief praised President Donald Trump for doing more than any of the other five presidents he worked for to protect public safety. But he expressed skepticism about the president’s willingness to make a deal with Congress on the policy known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which the Obama administration imposed by executive action.

DACA, which Trump announced he will end, allows certain illegal immigrants who were brought here illegally as children to be shielded from deportation and to obtain work permits.

Although Trump and Congress failed to reach a deal on legislating a version of policy, the president has said he is willing to support amnesty for those so-called “Dreamers” in exchange for increased enforcement, such as a border wall, and a merit-based immigration system.

Vaughan asked Homan: “Doesn’t amnesty encourage illegal immigration?”

“When you reward illegal behavior, it certainly does,” Homan replied. “If Congress chooses to pass legislation on DACA, what I’ve said many times is you can’t pass a clean DACA bill without talking about the underlying reasons for illegal immigration.”

He added that the United States must seek to stop illegal immigration first.

You’ve got to address that as part of the fix. Because if you don’t, those families coming across now will be your next DACA in 10 years. Let’s stop kicking that can down the road. If you want to do a fix on DACA, let’s talk about an overarching issue of illegal immigration, so we don’t have a DACA every 10 years. We don’t have an amnesty every 15 to 20 years. Let’s fix it.

As he prepares to exit the agency, Homan also strongly defended his agents against political attacks and name-calling.

“A lot of people want to attack ICE. I see it every day. They want to call ICE racist. They want to call us Nazis,” Homan said.

“What I want to make clear is, you can not like what we do, but don’t vilify the men and women that took an oath to enforce the law. If you don’t like what we do, then talk to your congressman and senator and tell them you don’t like the law.”

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas is the White House correspondent for The Daily Signal and co-host of “The Right Side of History” podcast. Send an email to Fred. Twitter: @FredLucasWH.

Dear Readers:

With the recent conservative victories related to tax cuts, the Supreme Court, and other major issues, it is easy to become complacent.

However, the liberal Left is not backing down. They are rallying supporters to advance their agenda, moving this nation further from the vision of our founding fathers.

If we are to continue to bring this nation back to our founding principles of limited government and fiscal conservatism, we need to come together as a group of likeminded conservatives.

This is the mission of The Heritage Foundation. We want to continue to develop and present conservative solutions to the nation’s toughest problems. And we cannot do this alone.

We are looking for a select few conservatives to become a Heritage Foundation member. With your membership, you’ll qualify for all associated benefits and you’ll help keep our nation great for future generations.

ACTIVATE YOUR MEMBERSHIP TODAY

Remembering the Men Who Fought and Bled on D-Day

June 6 marks the 74th anniversary of the Battle of Normandy, Operation Overlord, D-Day.

As new generations begin to emerge and the honorable men and women of the Greatest Generation continue to enter history, the memory of D-Day threatens to be lost to time.

Preserving its place in history is important for honoring those who served our country in the past, but also as a reminder to honor those who continue to serve our country today.

Operation Overlord, under the command of Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, proved to be a pivotal moment in World War II and led eventually to the liberation of France and provided a leverage point for an Allied advance upon Adolf Hitler himself.

Back in the U.S., President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered a stateside address and prayer, in which he declared: “For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate.”

Some 14,000 paratroopers infiltrated and sabotaged the German defenses from behind, and naval bombardment by the USS Arkansas, USS Nevada, and USS Texas softened the defenses from the front.

Under the command of Gen. Omar Bradley, Utah Beach was stormed by the U.S. VII Corps in three waves. By the end of the day, Utah was secured, with casualties amounting to 197 from the assault and 2,500 paratroopers. But the assault on Omaha Beach proved a far greater challenge.

Critical for the German defense, Omaha demonstrated a formidability unlike its neighbor. The U.S. V Corps, led by Gen. Leonard Gerow, faced elevated terrain and a variety of fortifications. High sand flats prevented the landing craft from reaching the shore. The men got out in shoulder-deep water and waded ashore, and many died from drowning and from enemy fire.

It became one of the bloodiest beach landings of the war. Omaha, taken by late afternoon, cost about 3,000 casualties of the 43,250 men that carried out the assault. In all, the Allies suffered 4,413 fatalities at Utah and Omaha, 2,499 of whom were Americans.

The sacrifice those men gave proved the tipping point to liberate Europe. Had that operation not occurred, or failed, Europe would have remained in the hands of Nazi Germany and tyranny.

They fought not for their homeland, but for the preservation of the free world itself. That is their legacy.

We remember D-Day not just for the significance of the battle and the liberation of Europe that followed. Even more so, we remember the sacrifice given by the men who died that day, and those willing to do the same today for our country.

It is a spirit embodied by everyone who serves in our military. As Secretary of Defense James Mattis has described it, they have “a willingness to sign a blank check, payable to the American people; a blank check payable with [their] lives, to defend our revolutionary ideas enshrined in our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution, putting freedom above all else.”

It is upon this principle that those men sacrificed their lives and our soldiers today risk theirs.

It is upon this principle that we must fight for the preservation of liberty, be courageous when evil shows its face, and be a beacon of light when darkness approaches.

COMMENTARY BY

Matthew Ahlquist is a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation.

Portrait of James Di Pane

James Di Pane is a research assistant in the Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy at The Heritage Foundation.

Dear Readers:

With the recent conservative victories related to tax cuts, the Supreme Court, and other major issues, it is easy to become complacent.

However, the liberal Left is not backing down. They are rallying supporters to advance their agenda, moving this nation further from the vision of our founding fathers.

If we are to continue to bring this nation back to our founding principles of limited government and fiscal conservatism, we need to come together as a group of likeminded conservatives.

This is the mission of The Heritage Foundation. We want to continue to develop and present conservative solutions to the nation’s toughest problems. And we cannot do this alone.

We are looking for a select few conservatives to become a Heritage Foundation member. With your membership, you’ll qualify for all associated benefits and you’ll help keep our nation great for future generations.

ACTIVATE YOUR MEMBERSHIP TODAY

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of U.S. Army troops wading ashore on Omaha Beach during the D-Day landings on June 6, 1944. (Photo: CPHOM Robert F. Sargent/U.S. Coa/UPI/Newscom)

100 Years Ago, U.S. Marines Helped Turn the Tide of World War I

Americans rightly remember the Americans who stormed the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944, to liberate Europe, but we also should commemorate the Americans who, 100 years ago, fought in another fierce battle in France that began on June 6—the Battle of Belleau Wood.

It was one of the most brutal battles the Marines ever fought as they confronted the vicious technology of modern warfare. But when it was over, they had won a battle that would turn the tide of World War I in favor of the Allies and lead to eventual victory over Germany.

When the Americans entered the war in April 1917, the Allies were in desperate straits. The Russian Revolution caused the withdrawal of Russia from the war, and the collapse of the Italian army left the French and the British holding up their weak partner, Italy.

The Germans were able to reinforce the Western front with 50 divisions, where millions of young men in the Allied forces had been slaughtered in the trenches and killing fields of northern France. Most historians say the Americans arrived just in time.

In the spring of 1918, the Germans launched their largest offensive since 1914, pushing back the British while the French virtually collapsed. German forces drove through the French army to within 45 miles of Paris, causing the French government to make plans to evacuate the city.

When the Allies were able to launch a counterattack, they ordered the U.S. Marines to attack at Belleau Wood, an area of open fields and 200 acres of deep woods where four German divisions were well dug in and equipped with modern artillery, trench mortars, heavy machine guns, and poison gas. But capturing Belleau Wood was key to turning back the German advance.

The 5th and 6th Marine Regiments were given the job. As they moved into position, the leathernecks passed fleeing French troops who yelled at them to retreat from the advancing German forces. Marine Capt. Lloyd Williams, in the best tradition of the Corps, yelled back, “Retreat? Hell, we just got here.”

The fight for Belleau Wood was violent, bloody, and ferocious from the very beginning, when the Marines had to cross a wheat field against relentless German machine gun fire with almost no artillery support.

One of the noncommissioned officers who led the Marines was one of the most famous in the history of the Corps—Sgt. Major Daniel Joseph “Dan” Daly.

The words Daly yelled at his men as they started the battle are carved in stone at the Marine Corps museum outside Quantico, Virginia: “Come on you sons of b—–s, do you want to live forever?”

Daly already had won two Congressional Medals of Honor—one for helping defend the American consulate in what is now known as Beijing during the Boxer Rebellion in 1900, and another in Haiti in 1915.

He would be awarded the Navy Cross for his actions at Belleau Wood, where more than 1,000 Marines were killed the first day as they charged into a hailstorm of bullets and steel to try to get across that wheat field.

When the Marines finally got to the woods, they found them honey-combed with German machine gun nests. The Marines engaged in hand-to-hand fighting with their rifles, pistols, hand grenades, and bayonets. They fought day and night without being relieved, often without water and rations, to the point of exhaustion, while the Germans remained well supplied, with new troops constantly being brought up from the rear to reinforce the German positions.

The Marines fought in those woods for three weeks to defeat the Germans and lost another 1,000 dead and 8,000 injured. It was the bloodiest battle in their history, quite different from the types of fights they previously had engaged in against forces such as the Barbary pirates or guerillas in the Philippines, the Caribbean, and the Americas.

More Marines were killed and wounded in that one engagement than in all the prior battles combined since their founding—a 55 percent casualty rate. It was a foretaste of the kinds of battles the Marines would fight in the next war—the Pacific campaign of World War II on islands such as Iwo Jima and Guadalcanal.

Among the Congressional Medals of Honor awarded at Belleau Woods, one was to Gunnery Sgt. F. Stockham, who gave his gas mask to a wounded Marine during a German gas attack. Stockham died a few days later from the effects of the gas.

The ferocity of the Marines at Belleau Woods caused the Germans to name them “Teufel Hunden,” the Hounds from Hell or the Devil Dogs, a moniker that the Marines adopted.

According to H.W. Crocker III, in his history of the American military, “Don’t Tread on Me,” German military intelligence was so impressed with the “bravery and dash” of the Marines that they likened them to a “storm troop,” which to the German military, was the highest possible praise. The “qualities of the men individually may be described as remarkable” said the Germans, with the words of one prisoner that was captured as “characteristic—‘WE KILL OR WE GET KILLED.’”

At Belleau Wood, the Marines had gone up against the most professional fighting force in the world and the best divisions of the German army—and won. Gen. Black Jack Pershing, the leader of the American Expeditionary Force, was so impressed by the tenacity of the Marines at Belleau Wood that he was quoted as saying, “The deadliest weapon in the world is a United States Marine and his rifle.”

The defeat of the Germans at Belleau Wood helped end the German offensive and led directly to the end of the “War to End All Wars.” The French actually renamed Belleau Wood the “Bois de la Brigade de Marine”—“The Wood of the Marine Brigade.”

The 5th and 6th Marine Regiments received the Croix de Guerre, the French medal for bravery. In fact, they won that award two more times, the only units in the American Expeditionary Force to do so.

So, as we remember the sacrifices of the many men who fought on D-Day on June 6, 1944, let’s not forget the Devil Dogs who 100 years ago on June 6 gave the Germans a lesson in Marine Corps bravery, fearlessness, and sheer determination that helped end one of the bloodiest wars in human history.

Semper Fi.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Hans von Spakovsky

Hans von Spakovsky is an authority on a wide range of issues—including civil rights, civil justice, the First Amendment, immigration, the rule of law and government reform—as a senior legal fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies and manager of the think tank’s Election Law Reform Initiative. Read his research. Twitter: .

Dear Readers:

With the recent conservative victories related to tax cuts, the Supreme Court, and other major issues, it is easy to become complacent.

However, the liberal Left is not backing down. They are rallying supporters to advance their agenda, moving this nation further from the vision of our founding fathers.

If we are to continue to bring this nation back to our founding principles of limited government and fiscal conservatism, we need to come together as a group of likeminded conservatives.

This is the mission of The Heritage Foundation. We want to continue to develop and present conservative solutions to the nation’s toughest problems. And we cannot do this alone.

We are looking for a select few conservatives to become a Heritage Foundation member. With your membership, you’ll qualify for all associated benefits and you’ll help keep our nation great for future generations.

ACTIVATE YOUR MEMBERSHIP TODAY

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of American Marines fighting German soldiers in the Battle of Belleau Wood in 1918. (Photo: Everett Collection/Newscom)

TSA Ignores Feckless Congress, Bullies States In Power Grab

By KrisAnne Hall

The Transportation Security Administration is now standing virtually alone, above the law, above Congress and above the Constitution.

It is ignoring the law which created it and bullying any airports that attempt to deploy a private security force — which they are allowed to do under the law — with the threat of creating an effective “no-fly zone” at that airport. It is bullying states such as Texas that try to ban pat-downs.

In reality, there is absolutely no oversight or accountability of the TSA, now a rights-threatening monster created by a Congress intent on looking the other way.

wrote recently about the secret list that the TSA has created to identify any passengers who have offended TSA agents. Congress is not privy to this secret list, or apparently that it even existed. Congress is not establishing the policies that get someone on the list, nor have they established that people are noticed and a procedure created to petition to be removed. This is a purely arbitrary power resting in the hands of individual, unaccountable agents.

But this not a new dynamic. For the TSA and Congress, it is actually a designed one.

Most Americans do not know that the very congressional act that created the TSA, also established that airports could replace federal TSA agents with private security two years after the law was enacted. However, in January 2011, when more than 16 airports had tried to opt out, TSA refused to leave these airports and the director of the TSA put a “freeze” on the airports’ ability to opt out, violating the very Act that created the TSA.

When the TSA violated this Act with their policies and actions, Congress didn’t step up and remind them of the existing law. Instead, Congress passed a new law, HR 658, reasserting the “right” of the airports to opt out of TSA screeners and required the TSA to notify all airports of this “right.” Yet, in a questionable move, Congress also then gave the Secretary of Homeland Security, the directing agency over the TSA, the authority to approve or deny an airport’s “request” to transfer to private security screening.

In summary, Congress told the airports they had a “right” to opt out of federal screening and then put the TSA in charge of approving or denying this “right.” If the TSA has the authority to approve or deny their own employment, then the airports do not possess a right to transfer to private screening, they merely possess a privilege granted by those they wish to remove.

Would that not mean that by all form and function, our airports are now occupied through force by the federal government? That, by definition, is despotism.

Unfortunately, this point is proven by the fact that in 2011, Texas lawmakers attempted to pass a law outlawing TSA pat downs. The FAA responded immediately by threatening to turn Texas into a de facto “No Fly Zone” if the law was signed. Of course, Texas backed down. If the federal government can deny a State’s right to internally govern itself, this is a violation of the delegation of Constitutional powers expressly enumerated and a violation of the reserved powers of the States expressly identified in the 10thAmendment.

There is no constitutional authority for the TSA to exist, much less wield unchecked power within the states. This unconstitutional agency was created by Congress through the pretense of “national security” and it is failing miserably.

According to James Bovard in the Los Angeles Times,

“the Department of Homeland Security concluded last year that TSA officers and equipment had failed to detect mock threats roughly 80% of the time. In Minneapolis, an undercover team succeeded in smuggling weapons and mock bombs past airport screeners 95% of the time. An earlier DHS investigation found the TSA utterly unable to detect weapons, fake explosives and other contraband, regardless of how extensive it’s pat-downs were.”

Americans have been deceived into trading their essential liberties for a completely non-existent security. We have a private or state option that would likely be more effective and one that could more closely be overseen through the states.

Congress has created this monster. They have made TSA above check and balance, above the law and Congress, and above the Constitution itself: not only the 4th Amendment, but also the 1st Amendment, 6th Amendment, 7th Amendment, 8th Amendment, and 10th Amendment. It is time for the American people to stand up to Congress, the DHS, and the TSA and assert our Right to keep ourselves “secure.”

It is time Americans replace this ineffective, intrusive and secretive unchecked system with one that follows the law and the Constitution, and where the States protect the internal security of the people while the feds are limited to the specifically enumerated powers.

ABOUT KRISANNE HALL

KrisAnne Hall is a former biochemist, Russian linguist for the U.S. Army, and former prosecutor for the State of Florida. KrisAnne also practiced First Amendment Law for a prominent Florida non-profit Law firm. KrisAnne now travels the country teaching the foundational principles of Liberty and our Constitutional Republic. She is the author of 6 books on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and has an internationally popular radio and television show. Her books and classes have been featured on C-SPAN TV. KrisAnne can be found at www.KrisAnneHall.com. Get the book “Sovereign Duty” to learn what the designers of our Constitution wanted Americans to do when their federal government became bloated and out of control. Find this book on Amazon, Barns & Noble, Wal-Mart, and many other merchants.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The Revolutionary Act.

Who Was the Biggest Mass Murderer in History?

At least 45 million were starved, shot, tortured, and worked to death.

Ilya Somin

by Ilya Somin

Who was the biggest mass murderer in the history of the world? Most people probably assume that the answer is Adolf Hitler, architect of the Holocaust. Others might guess Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, who may indeed have managed to kill even more innocent people than Hitler did, many of them as part of a terror famine that likely took more lives than the Holocaust.

But both Hitler and Stalin were outdone by Mao Zedong. From 1958 to 1962, his Great Leap Forward policy led to the deaths of up to 45 million people—easily making it the biggest episode of mass murder ever recorded.

The Vast, Cruel, Deliberate Extinction of Millions

Historian Frank Dikötter, author of the important book Mao’s Great Famine, recently published an article in History Today, summarizing what happened:

Mao thought that he could catapult his country past its competitors by herding villagers across the country into giant people’s communes. In pursuit of a utopian paradise, everything was collectivised. People had their work, homes, land, belongings and livelihoods taken from them.

In collective canteens, food, distributed by the spoonful according to merit, became a weapon used to force people to follow the party’s every dictate. As incentives to work were removed, coercion and violence were used instead to compel famished farmers to perform labour on poorly planned irrigation projects while fields were neglected.

A catastrophe of gargantuan proportions ensued. Extrapolating from published population statistics, historians have speculated that tens of millions of people died of starvation. But the true dimensions of what happened are only now coming to light thanks to the meticulous reports the party itself compiled during the famine…

What comes out of this massive and detailed dossier is a tale of horror in which Mao emerges as one of the greatest mass murderers in history, responsible for the deaths of at least 45 million people between 1958 and 1962.

It is not merely the extent of the catastrophe that dwarfs earlier estimates, but also the manner in which many people died: between two and three million victims were tortured to death or summarily killed, often for the slightest infraction.

When a boy stole a handful of grain in a Hunan village, local boss Xiong Dechang forced his father to bury him alive. The father died of grief a few days later.

The case of Wang Ziyou was reported to the central leadership: one of his ears was chopped off, his legs were tied with iron wire, a ten kilogram stone was dropped on his back and then he was branded with a sizzling tool – punishment for digging up a potato.

The basic facts of the Great Leap Forward have long been known to scholars. Dikötter’s work is noteworthy for demonstrating that the number of victims may have been even greater than previously thought, and that the mass murder was more clearly intentional on Mao’s part, and included large numbers of victims who were executed or tortured, as opposed to “merely” starved to death. Even the previously standard estimates of 30 million or more would still make this the greatest mass murder in history.

While the horrors of the Great Leap Forward are well known to experts on communism and Chinese history, they are rarely remembered by ordinary people outside China, and have had only a modest cultural impact. When Westerners think of the great evils of world history, they rarely think of this one.

In contrast to the numerous books, movies, museums, and and remembrance days dedicated to the Holocaust, we make little effort to recall the Great Leap Forward, or to make sure that society has learned its lessons. When we vow “never again,” we don’t often recall that it should apply to this type of atrocity, as well as those motivated by racism or anti-semitism.The fact that Mao’s atrocities resulted in many more deaths than those of Hitler does not necessarily mean he was the more evil of the two. The greater death toll is partly the result of the fact that Mao ruled over a much larger population for a much longer time. I lost several relatives in the Holocaust myself, and have no wish to diminish its significance. But the vast scale of Chinese communist atrocities puts them in the same general ballpark. At the very least, they deserve far more recognition than they currently receive.

Why We so Rarely Look Back on the Great Leap Forward

What accounts for this neglect? One possible answer is that the most of the victims were Chinese peasants—people who are culturally and socially distant from the Western intellectuals and media figures who have the greatest influence over our historical consciousness and popular culture. As a general rule, it is easier to empathize with victims who seem similar to ourselves.

But an even bigger factor in our relative neglect of the Great Leap Forward is that it is part of the general tendency to downplay crimes committed by communist regimes, as opposed to right-wing authoritarians. Unlike in the days of Mao, today very few western intellectuals actually sympathize with communism. But many are reluctant to fully accept what a great evil it was, fearful—perhaps—that other left-wing causes might be tainted by association.In China, the regime has in recent years admitted that Mao made “mistakes” and allowed some degree of open discussion about this history. But the government is unwilling to admit that the mass murder was intentional and continues to occasionally suppress and persecute dissidents who point out the truth. This reluctance is an obvious result of the fact that the Communist Party still rules China. Although they have repudiated many of Mao’s specific policies, the regime still derives much of its legitimacy from his legacy.

I experienced China’s official ambivalence on this subject first-hand when I gave a talk about the issue while teaching a course as a visiting professor at a Chinese university in 2014.

Why It Matters

For both Chinese and westerners, failure to acknowledge the true nature of the Great Leap Forward carries serious costs. Some survivors of the Great Leap Forward are still alive today. They deserve far greater recognition of the horrible injustice they suffered. They also deserve compensation for their losses, and the infliction of appropriate punishment on the remaining perpetrators.

In addition, our continuing historical blind spot about the crimes of Mao and other communist rulers leads us to underestimate the horrors of such policies, and makes it more likely that they might be revived in the future. The horrendous history of China, the USSR, and their imitators, should have permanently discredited socialism as completely as fascism was discredited by the Nazis. But it has not – so far – fully done so.

Just recently, the socialist government of Venezuela imposed forced labor on much of its population. Yet most of the media coverage of this injustice fails to note the connection to socialism, or that the policy has parallels in the history of the Soviet Union, China, Cuba, and other similar regimes. One analysis even claims that the real problem is not so much “socialism qua socialism,” but rather Venezuela’s “particular brand of socialism, which fuses bad economic ideas with a distinctive brand of strongman bullying,” and is prone to authoritarianism and “mismanagement.”

The author simply ignores the fact that “strongman bullying” and “mismanagement” are typical of socialist states around the world. The Scandinavian nations—sometimes cited as examples of successful socialism- are not actually socialist at all, because they do not feature government ownership of the means of production, and in many ways have freer markets than most other western nations.

Venezuela’s tragic situation would not surprise anyone familiar with the history of the Great Leap Forward. We would do well to finally give history’s largest episode of mass murder the attention it deserves.

This article first appeared at the Volokh Conspiracy.